The city of Richmond is officially one of the most scenic places in Texas. The recognition came when Scenic Texas announced this year’s Scenic City certifications on July 19.

Although Richmond was initially recognized by the organization in 2016 with a bronze-level certificate, this year the city ‘ranked up’ to platinum, the highest level available.

The Scenic City program supports and recognizes cities for commitment to high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and public spaces. Cities apply to the program for a rigorous evaluation and scoring of existing municipal standards against the model, and those with the highest evaluation scores earn certification.

The Scenic Cities program looks at a wide range of standards.

The evaluation includes a city’s landscaping, tree protection, utility ordinances and new development when making a decision.

Richmond is one of 18 Texas cities to receive a platinum level certification; there are only two other Houston area cities with a platinum certificate, Missouri City and Friendswood.

Aside from Richmond and Missouri City, the only other city in Fort Bend County to have a Scenic City designation is Sugar Land, which has a gold certificate. In total 81 Texas cities have received Scenic City recognition. The Scenic City certification program announces its certifications annually.

Along with bragging rights, a Scenic City certification provides municipalities with access to a diagnostic tool.

Scenic Cities receive a complete, detailed analysis of existing infrastructure standards, which can assist cities with planning for the potential growth.

This isn’t the first time Richmond has been recognized as a Scenic City.

The city first received a bronze certification in 2016. Winning bronze in 2016 prompted City Commissioner Barry Beard to proclaim that Richmond wasn’t done.

“We won’t settle for Bronze status, but will keep moving up until we get platinum level,” he said at the time.

Richmond wasn’t the only Texas municipality recognized as a Scenic City. This year, 21 municipalities in Texas were designated a Scenic City by Scenic Texas.

Out of that lot, only Richmond moved up in ranking. A total of nine cities received their first Scenic City designation this year and another 11 were recertified. Scenic Texas will present the awards at the organization’s annual reception on Oct. 10, in San Antonio.

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